Adding Virtual Machines to Virtual Server

Adding virtual machines

Virtual Server 2005 lets you create one or more virtual machines, each running its own operating system, on a single physical computer. The virtual machine emulates a standard x86-based computer, including all the basic hardware components except the processor. By using emulated hardware and the processor of the physical computer, each virtual machine works like a separate physical computer. Because each virtual machine has its own operating system, you can run several different operating systems at the same time on a single computer.

Virtual Server can support up to a maximum of 64 virtual machines. The practical limit of virtual machines that Virtual Server can run simultaneously depends on the amount of RAM and the amount of hard drive space available on the physical computer. The amount of RAM allocated to the virtual machines is limited by the amount of physical RAM available. You cannot over-allocate memory. Virtual machines are also limited to a maximum of 3.6 GB of memory.

Because each virtual machine runs with its own copy of an operating system, they are distinct from each other and from the host operating system with regard to security and user access. That is, users are granted access to a virtual machine through the operating system on that virtual machine (the guest operating system), and not through the host operating system or another virtual machine. Conversely, a user's access to the host operating system (or to another virtual machine) does not provide that user access to the guest operating system.

Similarly, virtual machines cannot intercept network packets sent to or from the host operating system. However, virtual machines can intercept network packets to or from other virtual machines if the virtual machines are connected to the same virtual network.

The requirements and considerations for setting up a single virtual machine differ from those for setting up multiple virtual machines. The settings you choose when you configure your first virtual machine can affect configuration choices for any virtual machines you create subsequently. Depending on your deployment plans for virtual machines, you should review the following topics: